Topping up with juice

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Aug 22, 2008
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Hi All,

I started a cranberry wine 2 months ago and I am about to rack it for the first time. It's in a 5 gallon carboy and once I pull it off the sediment I am going to lose almost a gallon of my volume. I am going to top it up and I normally use a sugar-water solution, but I don't want to water down my wine. So, I considered topping up with 100% cranberry juice. Unfortunately, 100% cranberry juice isn't something you find on the shelves at Y2k-Mart. So, I looked around and found a 100% blend of Black Cherry and Concord (with some apple). I think the concord and the black cherry may add a little something to my cranberry.

Is there any reason why I CAN'T top up with juice, as opposed to using sugar water or something else? I would assume that I probably need to treat the juice with pectic enzyme, so as to prevent any hazing or some other issue. Has anyone tried this and did it work ok?

Thanks in Advance,
Hi Stan,

I have topped off using Juicy Juice 100% juice with no problem, I didn't even bother with peptic enzyme.
I did that instead of water in the simple syrup I used the same juice I started with heated to desolve the sugar .As for how it turned I don't really know because it's still going & I haven't drank any yet .I didn't treat it with anything just heated and added .I'm sure some more experienced winemakers will be along to answer your questions better
If you're adding juice you will most likely have to add sorbate to prevent refermentation. Having to lose a gallon when you rack is a lot.

You would really be better to have other various size carboys around to avoid topping off with that much. Even if you had a 3 gal. carboy and a few magnum bottles with airlocks would work for now.
I have a headache so I'm not thinking straight ,I did add a pinch of sorbate it's only a gallon jug . I don't think he's saying he did loss 1 gallon he's saying he thinks that's how much he will loss because the cranberries are taking up space .
You should be fine adding the juice. You just want to add sorbate to stop any refermentation. Did you leave the wine on the cranberries for two months? That's a fairly long time to be sitting on the pulp.
Topping up with juice can give some small problem.
Indeed small.

When I wine is finished it will clear.
Now when topping up with juice the wine may
become hazy again.
juice introduces all new stuff into a wine that may set off
chemical reactions which can cause the wine to become hazy
again. So longer aging might be needed.


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